A Parisian Comes Home (from Iraq)

Posted by John Rosenthal

The following extracts translated from an article in yesterday’s (28 June) Le Figaro on the Parisian Mohammed E., who returned home to France this week from Iraq via Syria.

Al-Masri’s Connections (The FAZ on Khaled Al-Masri)

Posted by John Rosenthal

On Thursday, Khaled Al-Masri, the Lebanese-born German citizen who is at the center of the CIA renditions controversy, was questioned by a sub-committee of the German Bundestag. Referring to his alleged seizure in Macedonia on New Year’s Eve 2003-4 and the 5 month period of detention in Afghanistan that is supposed to have followed, Al-Masri [...]

Denouncing Spanish: Catalonia’s “Linguistic Guarantee Bureaus”

Posted by John Rosenthal

One of the most controversial features of the new Statute for Catalan Autonomy that was approved in a referendum in Catalonia over the weekend is the "obligation to know Catalan": a feature that is meant to contribute to the "protection" of Catalan as a regional language. An article that appeared in the Monday edition of [...]

Le Monde: EU to “Resume” (Increase) Aid to Palestinians

Posted by John Rosenthal

The following from a front page article in the weekend edition of Le Monde (dated 18-19 June) on the "resumption" of EU aid to the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. On Friday, June 16th, the heads of state and of government of the 25 [member states of the EU] decided that [...]

Whose Side is He On? (German Foreign Minister on the Iran Nuclear Controversy)

Posted by John Rosenthal

Those following the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program will have noticed the odd promotion of Germany to a status virtually equivalent with that of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. But are Germany’s interests in the controversy similar to those of the latter countries? The following comments made by German Foreign Minister [...]

Take Your Choice (Arnauld Lagardère on Himself)

Posted by John Rosenthal

In April, after the share price of the Franco-German aeronautics and defense firm EADS reached an all-time high of 35 euros per share, the French Lagardère Group and the German firm DaimlerChrysler each sold off major parts of their capital holdings in the company. Daimler reduced its stake in EADS from 30% to 22.5% and [...]

New Italian Prime Minister: Italians are Brainwashed, “Post-Democratic” Slaves

Posted by John Rosenthal

Silvio Berlusconi raised a number of eye-brows during last Spring’s Italian electoral campaign when he said that he had trouble believing that there were many "coglioni" – literally, "balls" – who would vote "against their own interests", namely, by voting for Romano Prodi’s "Union" coalition. Despite the vulgar turn of phrase, Berlusconi emphasized that his judgment [...]

Guilty Until Proven Innocent (Council of Europe Rapporteur on CIA “Secret Detention Centers”)

Posted by John Rosenthal

On Wednesday, Dick Marty, the Council of Europe’s special Rapporteur on alleged "illegal activities" of the CIA in Europe, submitted a "draft report" on the matter. The following from a related article in Thursday’s edition (8 June) of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ):

Asymmetrical Europe (Germany and European Law Enforcement)

Posted by John Rosenthal

Last week, as a complementary measure to the so-called European arrest warrant, which is meant to facilitate extraditions among European countries for certain categories of crime, European justice ministers agreed to the creation of a European “evidence warrant”. According to the agreement, all EU states will be required to comply with requests from their EU [...]

License to Kill (Sentencing in a German Court)

Posted by John Rosenthal

Germany’s militancy in opposing the death penalty is well known – even if the grounds for German "leadership" in this connection are perhaps less glorious than one might suppose. But what do the German courts regard as appropriate punishment for a particularly heinous murder? The sentences received by two brothers, Vitali O. and Alex O., [...]